Gaza Names Project

I chose to participate in the Gaza Names project by Jewish Voice for Peace because it is important to counter headlines like the one above. The US News Media would have us believe that those to whom the "death toll" refers are numbers and not names, not a people with a history (or a nationality for that matter), with families, feelings and aspirations, people who are innocent civilians mostly women and children. Nope to hear them tell it, it's just a steadily rising number of deaths undeserving of any recognition of personhood.

The question was then, when scrolling through the list of over 620 martyrs who'd been identified, which name(s) to pick there are babies, children who were the same age as my own, entire families... Ultimately I settled on one name, Basima Abdel Fattah al-Hajj, age 57 who was killed along with  seven other members of her family in the Khan Younis refugee camp on July 10, 2014. The members of the al-Hajj family who were martyred include Basima's husband Mahmoud Lutfi al-Hajj (58), and their children Asmaa Mahmoud al-Hajj (22), Tarik Saad al-Hajj (18), Saad Mahmoud al-Hajj (17), Najlaa Mahmoud al-Hajj (29), Fatima al-Hajj (12), and Omar al-Hajj (20).

background photo credit:

But I chose Basima (whose first name means smiling) because of the significance of her name as a reminder to those of us who are still among the living. Take a few minutes to watch as Dr. Mohamed Abutaleb discusses the name of Allah Al-Fattah and reflect on what significance this name has both in your own life and trials; and regarding the state of those who are oppressed.

Fattah Allahu 'Alayk. Ameen!


Post a Comment